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HMV Group profits continue to slide

Music retailer HMV’s shares have continued to slide following reports of plummeting sales.

The HMV Group which sells mainly music CDs, video games, DVDs and books saw its shares slump by more than 20% after it announced a pre-tax loss of £41.3m in the six month period up to October, as against a loss of £24.9m in the same period last year.

Like-for-like sales, i.e. not including the impact from the launch of new stores dropped 16.1%.

With sales at its flagship book retailer Waterstone’s down by 3.2%, the HMV Group have identified Christmas sales this year as even more important than usual.

The firm said it that had been trying hard to diversify the product ranges available in its stores during the last six months, citing the addition of new clothing lines and an outlet for the hugely popular Apple iPad.

The company said that furthermore it was continuing to ensure that the range of books in each branch of Waterstone’s would be tailored to suit local markets.

But the group’s revenues were down 6% on last year at £749.5m. There was a decrease of 10% in CD sales and one of 8% in DVD sales. The biggest drop was in sales of computer games which were down 12%.

HMV also announced that it is planning to shut down the smaller of the two shops it currently has on London’s Oxford Street.

According to one analyst HMV is now “paying the price for failing to embrace the internet much sooner.”

Keith Bowman, an equity analyst for the firm Hargreaves Lansdown also said “These results do little to ease fears that HMV is slowly being consigned to the history books.”

“Furthermore, moves to diversify the product offering smack of desperation, with competition in clothing and electrical products already hugely intense.” He added.


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